One year after making its first COVID-19 relief delivery to the Houston Food Bank, MountainKing has now shipped more than 1.6 million pounds of fresh potatoes to the non-profit organization dedicated to providing nutritious meals to those in need. “For years, MountainKing has been a supporter of the Houston Food Bank and its mission of providing food for better lives,” notes Andreas Trettin, the company’s director of marketing.
Brits have fallen back in love with potatoes. So says McCain’s UK & Ireland president Howard Snape, who’s been putting together some retail sales figures at its otherwise deserted UK HQ in Scarborough. He’s feeling buoyant about the findings. Snape believes Covid has “helped to re-energise” the potato.
In a recently completed survey by the IMPACT Center at Washington State University, it was found that Washington State farm families’ direct compliance outlays to manage COVID-10 were roughly $2,532 per month. Direct compliance outlays were found to be much higher for those businesses packing potatoes at $4,340 per month.
AHDB Arable analyst, Thomma Shepherd, provides an analysis of what has driven potato markets over the last few weeks. She says the weekly average price survey, covering all sectors of the industry, shows potatoes have had a depressed few months, lagging behind previous seasons. The 2nd wave of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has killed a lot of demand for potatoes. With the majority of hospitality closed along with schools there has been little optimism within the industry.
Potatoes USA, the marketing and promotion board for the U.S. potato industry, elected new leadership during the Annual Meeting on March 11, 2021. The newly elected Chairman and Executive Committee will lead the Board through 2021-2022. As chairman, Raybould will prioritize restoring demand for potatoes back to pre-pandemic levels.
The impact of Covid-19 on the chip industry in the Northern Hemisphere is putting locally grown and processed hot potato chips at the local chippie under threat. Potatoes NZ CEO Chris Claridge is looking for Government action to protect New Zealand potato farmers from the influx of frozen fries grown and processed in Europe undercutting their locally grown equivalent.
A marketing strategy that works: Idahoan Foods reached nearly 5 million new households since start of pandemic
Idahoan Foods saw sales of its fresh-dried mashed potato products rise during the pandemic as consumers cooked more meals at home. Consumers embraced more time at home by experimenting with new recipes, reaching for global flavors as a way to explore other cultures, and showed off their skills on social media. Idahoan tapped into these rapidly evolving consumer trends and pivoted marketing strategies throughout the year in order to connect with new households and keep encouraging consumers.
Some Utz Brands buyers are opting for snacks with healthier ingredients such as the avocado oil used to cook the Boulder Canyon potato chips, Utz Brands CEO Dylan Lissette told CNBC. The snack company has been rebranding and developing the Boulder Canyon chips since it bought its manufacturer Inventure Foods in 2017, said Lissette on CNBC’s Mad Money. “We’ve got a lot of excitement around those ‘better for you brands’,” Lissette said.
One of the largest potato producers in Idaho had just days to prepare for something its leaders had been anxiously awaiting for months. With the more-contagious COVID-19 variants spreading in Idaho and cases rising again in the Idaho Falls and Rexburg regions, about a dozen nurses and staff from occupational health provider Sterling Medical vaccinated roughly 350 people employed by Mickelsen Farms, Rigby Produce and Potato Products of Idaho in four hours.
The Idaho potato industry ended up doing well in 2020, despite the pandemic. The industry set an all-time record for cash receipts according to University of Idaho economists. Potatoes brought in $1.08 billion in 2020, a 13% increase compared to the year before. But, as Twin Falls Times-News journalist Colin Tiernan reports, those record revenues came with a lot of stress and didn’t benefit everyone equally.
No one could miss it in the media last year: the corona pandemic slashed the Belgian potato sector. In the 2019-2020 season, where the free market was in balance, growers and buyers were from one day to the next confronted with a global lockdown and the collapse of the demand for potatoes by the hospitality and food service sectors, says the Belgian potato trade and processing industry association, Belgapom, in a press release.
Today at the National Potato Council (NPC) 2021 Annual Meeting, held virtually due to travel restrictions, Dominic LaJoie of Van Buren, Maine was elected to serve as NPC
Royal Cosun closed 2020 with a slightly higher group result than in 2019, the company says in a press release issued this week. The result was the outcome of the wide-ranging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business groups in an exceptional year. Aviko had an exceptionally turbulent year. Following its record operating profit in 2019, volume fell sharply in March 2020 when the hospitality sector was shut down during the first lockdown. But Aviko is confident it will pursue its growth strategy in 2021.
Multiple employees at Branston’s Perthshire potato packaging plant have tested positive for Covid-19. Staff at Branston in Abernethy were confirmed to have the virus with several more forced into isolation because of the outbreak. The company will now close down for around 36 hours from Friday to undergo a deep clean.
Side Delights revealed recently released trend data on the growing focus on the health benefits of foods and the impact it has on consumer behavior. Since the inception of the pandemic, healthy-eating and immunity has continued to gain importance with consumers, and it shows in their shopping habits. Side Delights says its potatoes are grown in the best potato growing areas, stored in high-tech storage facilities, and packed and delivered close to customers/final mile experts.
The Idaho potato industry ended up doing well in 2020, despite the pandemic. The industry set an all-time record for cash receipts according to University of Idaho economists. Potatoes brought in $1.08 billion in 2020, a 13% increase compared to the year before. But those record revenues came with a lot of stress and didn
The 39th annual Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference and Trade Show started its three-day run Tuesday, Feb. 2, on Zoom and at the Ski Hi Complex in Monte Vista. John Toaspern, Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer, gave an overview of potato sales from March to December of last year during his 30-minute session. His report was mostly positive. Retail sales soared and continue to do so as people stayed home during the pandemic.
In order to support French potato farmers who can no longer sell their produce due to restaurant closures across France, Burger King is giving away bags of potatoes. Since yesterday, Burger King has been giving away a one kilo bag of potatoes to each customer who visits a drive-thru. It comes in a bid to help French potato farmers unable to sell their produce due to widespread restaurant closures across the nation, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Grower held potato stocks in Britain, as at the end of November 2020, are estimated to total 3.27Mt. This is up 12.5% (363Kt) from 2019 and 4.7% (147Kt) to the 5-year average (2015-2019). An increase in GB stocks will be no surprise to many. The 2020/21 season has seen increased production alongside lacklustre demand from the impacts of the ongoing global pandemic. However, the detail shows some sectoral differences.
The French Ministry of Agriculture this week announced that potato producers who had to allocate processing potatoes to outlets other than for the process sector due to the pandemic will financially be compensated for losses incurred. Producers have until February 2 to apply online. The news site Terres et Territoires reports that ‘good things come to those who wait for it’. After six months of waiting, potato producers will finally be compensated “for the losses resulting from diverting unprocessed potatoes to other outlets, in the context of the health crisis associated with the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Lockdown had led to a sudden shift from a crop shortfall following weather challenges last season to a surplus for potato giant McCain, as it lost 50 per cent of sales overnight. The last 10 years have thrown up multiple climate challenges for potato growers and McCain was looking to help create certainty for farmers and build supply chain resilience. Daniel Metheringham, McCain head of agriculture, said: “This time last year we were sat in the midst of a crop crisis because of weather volatility. When we hit Covid-19, all of a sudden we went from a crop shortfall to a crop surplus.”
Exactly a year ago, potatoes were seeing tight supplies and solid demand and it was expected that pricing would be strong in 2020. Then came Covid-19. Bruce Huffaker, President of North American Potato Market News, says:
This past year has thrown several challenges at Maine potato farmers, leading to decreased production amidst the chaos of a pandemic. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) says it is unsure of the current potato situation and does not expect major changes in the demand side of the market in the coming weeks. NEPG says in a press release that due to the pandemic, there is hardly any demand for potatoes on the open market from the processing industry, and prices are on an extremely low level. Another large challenge is the actual sprouting threat reported by growers.